Sam Farmer’s NFL picks for Week 14

Running back Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys hope to celebrate their 12th win of the season in a division game against the Giants on Sunday.
(Justin K. Aller / Getty Images)

The Times’ NFL columnist, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 9-6 (.600); season 125-65-2 (.658). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 7-8 (.467); season 98-89-5 (.524).


Pittsburgh (7-5) at Buffalo (6-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Steelers 27, Bills 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Steelers by 3. O/U: 46.

This depends on which Pittsburgh defense shows up. Ryan Shazier and Lawrence Timmons are two of the fastest inside linebackers in the league and can chase down QB Tyrod Taylor.



Cincinnati (4-7-1) at Cleveland (0-12)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bengals 28, Browns 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Bengals by 5 1/2. O/U: 42.

Cincinnati looked surprisingly good in easily handling the banged-up Eagles last week. The Browns have had a revolving door at QB all season and are inching closer to 0-16.


Houston (6-6) at Indianapolis (6-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Colts 28, Texans 24

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Colts by 6 1/2. O/U: 46 1/2.

The Texans have historically lost at Indianapolis. The winner likely will have the inside track on the AFC South crown. Lean on history and Andrew Luck being sound and getting hot.


Denver (8-4) at Tennesee (6-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Broncos 20, Titans 17

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Titans by 1. O/U: 43 1/2.

Titans are tied for the division lead and they’re running the ball hard. Paxton Lynch is too raw and not ready, so getting Trevor Siemian back will be key. Too many stars on Denver’s D.


Chicago (3-9) at Detroit (8-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Lions 31, Bears 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Lions by 7 1/2. O/U: 43 1/2.

Matthew Stafford is playing out of his mind, and the Lions defense is better than a lot of people think. The Bears are playing hard for John Fox, but Detroit is just more talented.


San Diego (5-7) at Carolina (4-8)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Chargers 24, Panthers 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Panthers by 1. O/U: 48 1/2.

The Panthers look like they’re mailing it in, or at least they did last week. San Diego is still fighting, and the Chargers have Philip Rivers, who’s always going to keep them in games.


Minnesota (6-6) at Jacksonville (2-10)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Vikings 24, Jaguars 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Vikings by 3. O/U: 39 1/2.

The Vikings defense can smother the Jacksonville offense. It hurts Minnesota, though, that Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith is sidelined because of a bad ankle. Still, go with the Vikings on the road.


Arizona (5-6-1) at Miami (7-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Cardinals 27, Dolphins 23

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Dolphins by 2. O/U: 43 1/2.

The East Coast hasn’t been kind to Arizona , but it is coming off an impressive performance. Miami’s front seven should handle Arizona’s bad O-line, but back David Johnson makes the difference.


Washington (6-5-1) at Philadelphia (5-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Redskins 27, Eagles 17

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Redskins by 2. O/U: 47.

The Eagles are too beat up to keep pace. Their defense is still solid, but it’s going to be out there all game. If Jordan Reed plays for Washington, he’s the difference maker.


N.Y. Jets (3-9) at San Francisco (1-11)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Jets 21, 49ers 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: 49ers by 2 1/2. O/U: 43 1/2.

The hot seat is cranked up for Jets Coach Todd Bowles, especially after his team’s embarrassing outing against the Colts. Watch for Gang Green to bounce back in this one.


New Orleans (5-7) at Tampa Bay (7-5)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Buccaneers 27, Saints 23

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Buccaneers by 2 1/2. O/U: 51 1/2.

The Saints have their backs squarely against the wall. Tampa Bay is playing well, and Jameis Winston can get hot. The Buccaneers defense is much better than its New Orleans counterpart.


Seattle (8-3-1) at Green Bay (6-6)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Packers 28, Seahawks 24

TV: None. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Seahawks by 3. O/U: 45 1/2.

The Seahawks are not the same defense without injured safety Earl Thomas, who enables everyone around him to play better. Green Bay seems to be figuring things out, at least on offense.


Atlanta (7-5) at L.A. Rams (4-8)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Falcons 31, Rams 17

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 717.

Line: Falcons by 6. O/U: 45.

Atlanta’s defense is better than people give it credit for, and it’s got some pass rushers who can get to the quarterback. Rams defense has taken a step back and is facing an explosive offense.


Dallas (11-1) at N.Y. Giants (8-4)

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

Cowboys 28, Giants 24

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Cowboys by 3 1/2. O/U: 47 1/2.

The pressure is heavy on the Giants, who could miss the playoffs after getting off to an 8-3 start. Jason Pierre-Paul being sidelined really hurts them. “Dak Attack” just keeps rolling.


Baltimore (7-5) at New England (10-2)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Patriots 24, Ravens 17


Line: Patriots by 7. O/U: 44 1/2.

Baltimore’s defense is legit, pesky, hard to score on. But which Ravens offense shows up? The Tom Brady-led Patriots are ruthlessly machine-like, especially at home.